Punjabi hip hop star comes to town

Imran Khan performing at Marriott hotel to an “attempted” exclusive crowd was an odd blend.

Sachal June 23, 2010

Imran Khan performing at Marriott hotel to an “attempted” exclusive crowd was an odd blend. The swanky setting of Marquez and steeply priced tickets did not suit the Punjabi hip hop music that you expect to be blasting out of car woofers.

Each of the eight VIP lounges cost Rs100,000. Tickets were Rs5,000 per person on tables that seated 10 people-- there were 25 tables.

These tables were served a plate each of starters which were being consumed with various colourful drinks that the guests had brought themselves.

The concert itself depended mostly on Imran Khan’s persona and the love of his loyal fans. His tracks were played in the background and Khan lip-synced over them. With his microphone on, he added occasional encouraging cheers of “Aha! Come on! Aayyhaay”, which sometimes made him miss the lip-syncing cues. The stage he stood on loomed over a dance floor placed in the centre of the hall. This proximity and perhaps his sunglasses in the disco lights were all that the event depended on.

Organisation was below par given the pricing structure and location. More than half the tables were on one side of the stage, elevated and stacked one behind the other. This meant that almost half of the seated audience did not have vision of the stage. These people had to huddle together near the grill of the elevated area. Fortunately, the disco ambience pulled them to the dance floor and these ill-placed tables were abandoned all together.

The guests on the dance floor said that they enjoyed themselves and that having Imran Khan only a few feet away was an exciting experience. “We have danced to Imran Khan’s songs at weddings, seeing him live was a lot of fun,” said Zahra Raza.

Fashion Designer Pashmina Ahmed said, “It’s amazing how Khan made the whole crowd dance even to a slow song such as ‘Bewafa’.”

Track after track the crowd cheered and danced as Khan held their attention for over an hour. When Khan ran out of tracks, he left the stage to DJ Pope, transforming the event from a badly organised concert into a regular dance party. The London imported DJ and the over flowing glasses of colourful drinks were enough to keep the dance floor occupied till dawn, with reports of a few scuffles towards the end as well.

The event was organised by Reachout, a charity organisation who claim to be working towards providing relief to victims of natural disasters. This was one of the three events Imran Khan did in Islamabad during this tour.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2010.


Shahbaz | 11 years ago | Reply We have gun-toting, education hating fundos on one end and "colourful drink" weilding spoilt brats on the other end of the Pakistani social spectrum. Both (should) have no place in a moderate Pakistan that Jinnah evisioned. The "right" concerts, plays, cultural activities are obviously much needed in Pakistan at the moment and make our culture as rich as it is, but people should keep their drinks (and the ensuing scuffles) within the confines of their houses, just as the fundos should practice a hardline form on Islam (if they really wanted to i.e.) within the confines of THEIR homes. Both the extremes should not be allowed to terrorise/disgust the public in any way. Middle ground people, middle ground! PS: Yes, I was there, and know what I'm talking about.
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